This weekend I started on a new project; a tool chest. I am sure there are a large number of other neanderthals out there that are planning or building a chest at this moment. It seems a certain author has a book coming out on this very topic in the near future. I would be a liar to say my current interest in the topic has nothing to do with this, but it is also not my only reason. This summer I will be traveling to The Woodwright’s School in North Carolina to enjoy a nice three day class with Chris Schwarz and the man himself, Roy Underhill. The class is a hand sawing class. I am stoked. I am not, however, excited to showoff my current tool chest.
The tool chest I use now is made out of plywood and scrap lumber. The chest serves its purpose, but has quickly become inadequate. It holds my No.3, 5, and 7 bench planes, a pair of back saws, chisels, and my layout and measuring tools. I can pile some other items in there if need be but then it becomes too hard to work out of.
So yesterday I was back home visiting my best friend and decided to get some lumber. I bought two eight foot 1x8s and some other small pieces for a till. I bought pine and took it back to my friend’s house where I proceeded to cut the 1x8s down to length on his deck.
This job would have been best done with a nice 26″ long crosscut saw, but I am short on those right now so I just used a 16″ Bishop tenon saw.
This is a nice saw I got off of ebay and had Mark Harrell from Bad Axe Tool Works sharpen for me. The saw cuts great. When using a back saw with my bench hooks, I like to scribe the line with my marking knife and then use a wide chisel to create a groove. I was first shown this by an instructor I had at the local Woodcraft.
I cut the sides to 24″ long and the ends to 14″ long. Not very big compared to a traditional cabinetmakers chest, but I need to fit this is a small car (not to mention the lack of floor space in an 8×10 bedroom. Did I mention my “shop” has a queen sized bed, desk, bookcase, cd rack, and whatever else my wife throws in there for storage?). I am not sure what the finished height will be, probably around 14″ with the lid. I’d like to dovetail the sides together, but my dovetailing abilities are not great. I guess this is as good a time as any to get better.
As a note, I am currently following Jamie Bacon’s blog, http://planeshavings.blogspot.com/. He is also building a chest and is coincidentally going to The Woodwright’s School as well. Hopefully he doesn’t think I am trying to steel his idea for this entry (if he even reads this).